Friday, 16 March 2018

University of Newcastle member bulletin

University of Newcastle member bulletin – March 2018 (PDF version)

Enterprise Bargaining update

The eleventh meeting of the Enterprise Bargaining teams was held on 14 March 2018. The issues continued from the previous meeting as we attempted to find sensible course through the performance and behaviour clauses.

Predictably, much of the discussion rehearsed the points made previously, and negotiation turned more to a drafting session. On reflection, the parties agreed the issues have been discussed and it is more useful at this point for the university to receive written proposals from the bargaining teams to allow a redraft of the clauses to be undertaken, to return to the table in a week or two.

Our previous bulletin set out the position that CPSU NSW has taken on the nexus of performance, conduct and discipline. Two major obstacles for us will be the university’s proposals to suspend staff without pay during investigation and to replace the current tripartite committee of enquiry with an individual reviewer.

The university is aware of our objections.

University Funding

The Federal Government’s Mid Year Economic Forecast has been difficult news for the university sector; a fact we are obliged to acknowledge. The university’s Chief Operating Officer has signalled that when University Council has had an opportunity to review the situation, he will provide an update to the EB negotiators.

Coming discussions

The university has flagged it has claims to bring forward on categories of employment, largely affecting clinical educators, and perhaps some discussion around “hybrid” appointments – the scope of that will be interesting. We also have concerns on fixed-term categories and casual conversions that we will want to review.

Consultation, representation and union rights

The current Agreement establishes a Consultative Committee to monitor and implement it. This is a very important function, but in terms of broad consultation is much narrower in scope than obtains in many other agreements in the sector. The concept of representation and advocacy for members will need to be reviewed to ensure that the arrangements continue to provide adequate protections. Our next meeting on 21 March 2018 will deal with these issues.

We plan to improve the formal recognition of your delegates and their ability to represent you in any meeting with the university, and we want clearer access to promote the CPSU NSW to new staff during induction to ensure your colleagues are aware of the work the union does and encourage them to join you. You can also play your part in this by talking to new staff about the union.

Become involved

Please take the time to read through your current agreement to identify opportunities for improvement. Contact your bargaining representatives to discuss any concerns you have. We will conduct further surveys as necessary when the issues require further direction from you. Please feel free to request a workplace meeting. At the end of the negotiation you will be asked to vote on the package and we want that to be an informed and deliberate vote by staff whose working lives are covered by the Agreement. Ask your colleagues to stand with you by JOINING CPSU NSW today.

UoN Professional Staff representatives

Sue Freeman

Nick Koster

Lyn Keily

Stephen Hopkins

CPSU NSW staff

Phoebe Dangerfield

Ron Hunter

Please note:

CPSU NSW members are also members of the Public Service Association of NSW. The PSA is the Associated Body for, and resources and manages, the CPSU NSW.